How to Prepare Your Website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Thanksgiving is drawing closer with each passing day, which means Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. If you sell goods online, there is one day that you absolutely must prepare for: Black Friday.

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. People go crazy looking for the best deals. Even the world of online retail gets into the game, offering their sales or special promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Every year the online numbers for Black Friday get bigger. In 2015, over 121 MILLION people shopped online on what used to be just the day after Thanksgiving. Because so many people are shopping, your online store needs a plan. We’re here to help. These are the top 3 things you should do to prepare.

Promote Early

If you’re not actively promoting your business, you’re leaving money on the table. Consider doing these three things:

  • Get a promo plan and calendar. Mark down all of your important dates, notate tasks and make sure every campaign-related item such as blogs, emails, social media are all ready, or at least in development.
  • Give your website a thorough health check. Test it out. Make sure that your site can handle an influx of traffic without crashing. Check your shopping cart to ensure your store is working properly
  • Do you have a return policy? People will buy the wrong color and size. It’s a fact of life. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

Make sure you have a responsive site

We do a ton of shopping via our phones. Frankly, we do everything from our phones. If you want the maximum return, your site and store need to be optimized for smartphones.

We have so much downtime in between life, there are always moments to spare, and within those moments, we’re browsing for stuff. Last year, retailers saw a 65% increase in purchases made from phones.

You need your site to be easy to read and scroll through. Is it connected to PayPal? Can they buy with a simple thumbprint via Apple Pay? Can a customer purchase in under a minute? You need to make sure these things are paramount before the Christmas rush sets in.

Stand out from the crowd

An easy killer of momentum is bad marketing. If your site is ugly, it turns people off. What about how the copy reads? If it’s a bunch of nonsense or has bad spelling and grammar, potential customers will look elsewhere. Think about it: if you visit a site and they can’t spell, or the layout looks janky, what gives you confidence this store will be able to accurately place an order?

All marketing materials need to be thought of in the same breath. To ensure a solid campaign, do the things mentioned above, but also go above and beyond. It’s up to you how much money you’re willing to spend in hopes to make it back by at least double.

If you want to drive some serious numbers toward your store, consider these easy steps:

Beef up your landing pages – The more landing pages you have for specific items, more people will find you. If you have five top-selling items, make a page for each. But don’t go cheap. Google can sniff out something slapped together. Put time and effort into the copy and design of these pages.

Stick with the tried and true – No matter what social media network comes along, people love emails. Email marketing still has the highest conversion rate out of every channel. Again, you will need good writing and make sure your links work.

Hire a copywriter – Notice a trend here? Copywriting is an art. Not everyone can do it. Just because your cousin who got an A in high school English said she’d do it, it’s not the same thing. Hire a copywriter to make sure the copy shines and is SEO-friendly. Your Google rankings will thank you.

Write blogs people want to read – Again with the content. If you’re selling a lifestyle product or just want to tell a buyer’s journey, your blogs need to sing. By working with a writer who can produce a substantial blog, that’s a potential buy on it’s own and with a low fiscal center of gravity. Someone is always looking for a blog relevant to their interests. Don’t fall victim to a bad blog. It’s an easy win.

Don’t skimp on your site – This should go without saying, but your website needs to look amazing. Again, don’t slap something together. Take the time and open up the pocketbook. If you’re trying to save $50 that will come back to get you because there is always someone out there willing to spend more to convert sales. Get festive, add some happy elves or penguins singing. It is Christmas, after all.

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